The team arrived at the Horikawa school and were greeted by the students with banners they had made for each player and staff member. Excitement levels were high as the girls could hear them cheering as the team bus arrived.
The morning began with an official welcome from the 75 students and their teachers, followed by Gliders head coach David Gould introducing the team.
The students were then put into teams and each player showed them how to push a wheelchair and bounce a ball, as well as some other drills – before the team scrimmaged, cheered on by the kids. As reported by team manager Jane Kyle, “it was amazing to watch all the kids smiling and laughing as well as the Gliders.
After this the team presented a signed basketball for the school. The session was finished with the school kids singing us a song which was in Japanese.”
In the afternoon, the team had a training session and then headed back to the hotel for dinner and a well-earned rest.
The Aussie Gliders, Australia’s Paralympic Silver Medal winning Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team, are in Japan this week to defend their Osaka Cup – playing in their first international tournament since their successful London campaign.
The three day tournament begins today and features Australia, Japan and Canada in a double round-robin competition with all teams playing each other twice.
The Gliders first match is today against Canada.